Steps for change, UxD student project

User Experience Design students’ design work nominated for international “new talent” design award

June 16, 2020 — UNT CVAD Communication Design, User Experience Design second-year students Brittney Dang, Olivia Moten, and Amanda Griffith learned that “Steps for Change,” an interactive design project they designed featuring a prototypical website and application, was nominated in the “Best New Talent” category of the international UX Design Awards, UX = User Experience. The UX Design Awards are a global competition that acknowledges outstanding user and customer experience design in the design of websites, apps, and in a broad array of interactions between people and the technologies that many of us use regularly. These can be as varied as automated check-out facilities in retail environments, “check-in” experiences at doctor’s offices and airline terminals, and the mix of processes we undergo during visits to a place like a Department of Motor Vehicles. The UX Design Awards is organized and facilitated by the International Design Center Berlin, an organization that operates to promote design as a driver of innovation in business and society.

The mission of the UX Design Awards aligns closely with that of CVAD’s Department of Design in that both champion design as a means to improve people’s lives. UNT CVAD’s User Experience Design Track operates under the auspices of our Communication Design area, and students enrolled in this program are taught to engage in what is called “human-centered approaches” to designing to instigate and sustain positive change.

Human-centered design challenges designers to begin their creative, decision-making processes by understanding the real-world needs and wants of particular groups of people to ensure that whatever is designed meets their expectations and satisfies their emotions.

The “Steps for Change” project began as Brittney, Olivia and Amanda were teamed on a seven-week project in a “Patterns and Systems for Interaction Design” course taught by Michael Gibson, professor, communications design. The parameters for this project called for each team to develop and design a resource that made use of online technology to positively alter an “undesirable set of circumstances” in a social, technological, economic, environmental or political, “S.T.E.E.P..” arena. Brittney, Olivia and Amanda chose to create a website “aimed at reviving the movement against sexual harassment by educating, connecting, and guiding survivors, advocates, and offenders of sexual harassment toward growth.” “Steps for Change” was designed and developed to provide several different types of resources for all three of these groups, and to periodically have its features updated based on the kinds of information it received from its broad cross-sections of users.

Final judging of the work nominated for inclusion in the 2020 UX Design Awards will occur later this year (a firm date for this has not yet been set due to logistical uncertainties surrounding the judging process as a result of the worldwide response to the coronavirus). Although this annual competition is hosted in Germany, it is international in scope, with hundreds of entries across its three categories originating from 28 countries.

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